A controversial council licensing plan to allow some pubs to open until 3am has come under fire – from the authority’s own co-leader.
Councillors on the licensing board met this week ahead of a final decision on Tuesday.
The scheme would mean pubs and bars could apply for later opening on Saturdays and Sundays and would not have to offer “significant entertainment” like live music or a disco.
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Supporters say that night-time drinking habits have changed and the later openings could lead to more people visiting the city centre at night.
But the plan has come under fire from the city’s nightclub industry who have said that the struggling sector may not survive the increased competition from other drinking spots.
Earlier this year Priory’s application for a 4am opening was rejected and the club later closed.
At this week’s meeting only Conservative Alan Donnelly was against the late opening of bars.
But last night council co-leader Douglas Lumsden agreed with his party colleague.
He said: “I feel that the licensing board would be making a mistake in classing pubs and nightclubs in the same way.
“Nightclubs have made investments into providing entertainment at their premises and this change of rules will have a negative impact on their business.
“This is a change that they have been unable to plan for. I would hope the licensing board would delay the change proposed or take notice the recommendation suggested by councillor Donnelly and allow extra times for nightclubs to operate.”